Mr 8 months is the first of our three children whose cry I understand. I can hear that his tummy hurts, that he needs to burp, that he’s hungry, upset, tired, hurt himself or constipated! That he’s thirsty isn’t always obvious; that his nappy needs changing is a bit hit & miss. All of this that is to say, DURING THE DAY!
In the hours of darkness, he speaks a different language, one that I am destined to be incapable of learning, because I am TOO TIRED to start studying at that time! None of his cries mean what they’re supposed to mean – his nappy doesn’t need changing, his gums aren’t hurting, he doesn’t need to burp, he’s not cramping and pulling up his legs so it’s not his tummy. He’s yawning, rubbing his eyes, leaning against me – so he IS tired! He’s not looking for food – so he’s not hungry… and he’s totally not getting any in the middle of the night anyway – we’ve definitely given up with that… (except in desperation… and then it doesn’t work, because he wasn’t hungry anyway!?)!
A night of sleep deprivation and out come the CAPITALS!
Actually this month has been the first real break from seven months of sleep deprivation – there’s good reason for me to feel HAGGARD!
Today I’m reminded of the MILLIONS of other mothers in EXACTLY the same situation that I am in now!
FORGET the washing; the cleaning; fixing food; sorting through clothes; taking out the next size; making baby food(!); opening post or trying to do ANY task.
…the BEST tips I’ve been given, I’ve been given now – with my THIRD child!
– Wet washing can be washed again tomorrow (it is not going to go mouldy over night)!
– It’s OK that you haven’t got the energy for any game or activity for your older kids – let them watch a movie! …give them popcorn… (the thanks you get for that is far greater than a dinner you spent hours making, even with one hand)!
– It’s OK to eat ’breakfast’ again for dinner!
– Ask for help!! Just ask someone to take your baby for a 1.5hr walk so you can sleep for 1! It doesn’t mean you’re not succeeding as a parent, you don’t need to wait until you’re even more desperate – ’practice’ asking for help! It’s a matter of acknowledging that your body is being LITERALLY TORTURED by lack of sleep.
When my second daughter was born a friend & mother of three said
Don’t offer me muffins, unless you bought them!
YOU’RE DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB!!!
Let’s just squeeze one big giggle into your day: